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Archives: February 2014

Sara Bondioli Leaves Roll Call for HuffPo

Roll Call Editor-in-Chief Christina Bellantoni announced today that Assistant Managing Editor Sara Bondioli is leaving to become Deputy Politics Editor at the Huffington Post.

“Sara first came to Roll Call nearly five years ago, in mid-March 2009.” Bellantoni wrote in an email to staff. “She worked as a copy editor, deputy copy chief and then copy chief, all the while helping us grow, and working with us to make our writing sharper, our papers better and our days brighter. She has caught countless errors, posted countless stories and added countless calories to our diets.” (Apparently Sara was very generous with her beer and baked goods. Sounds like the perfect co-worker to us!)

Sara’s last day at Roll Call will be March 14, and she starts at HuffPo on March 24. Congratulations Sara!

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FBDC Web Ratings Roundup: National News Sites

We already took a look at the web traffic numbers for DC publications for the month of January. Now we bring you January’s comScore numbers for the top 15 national news websites. A few notes on reading the chart. The list below includes individual websites as well as networks of websites in bold. For example, is ranked 7th, while the CNN network, which includes,, etc, is ranked 2nd. And for some sites, we were unable to obtain the pageview numbers.

Uniques (in millions) Page Views (in millions)
1 Yahoo-ABC News Network 77 2,451
2 CNN Network 65 1,625
3 Yahoo News 63 1,109
4 Huffington Post 61 1,266
5 Gannet Sites 56 1,217
6 NBC News Digital 51 717
7 38 854 38 654
8 CBS News Sites 33 475 33 459
9 Fox News Digital Network 29 846
10 New York Times Digital 28 446 28 445
11 27 824
12 26 278
13 Tribune Newspapers 25           n/a
14 MSN News 23           n/a
Mail Online 23           n/a
15 18 129
Hearst Newspapers 18           n/a

The takeaways: 1) Yahoo News is pulling all the weight in the ABC-Yahoo relationship when it comes to the web. The Yahoo-ABC network of sites got 77 million unique visitors in January, thanks mostly to got only 18 million by itself. 2) NBC is the top broadcaster online, with pulling in more visitors than and combined. 3) Fox News visitors read a lot of Fox News! The Fox News Network and the New York Times Network have almost the same unique visitors, but Fox has nearly twice as many pageviews.
(Image via Shutterstock)

Twitter Suspends ISIS Account That Tweeted Amputation

It appears Twitter has suspended ISIS-affiliated user reyadiraq, who earlier tweeted images (such as the one to the right) of a man’s hand being amputated. A spokesperson from Twitter said that they do not comment on individual accounts, “for privacy and security reasons.” But attempts to visit are now met with a message saying the account has been suspended.  The Twitter TOS also state that accounts may be suspended if they are deemed to be inciting violence or posting obscene material.

FBDC Web Ratings Roundup: DC Pubs

Image via Shutterstock

Web traffic numbers are in for the month of January, and FishbowlDC checked in with our friends over at comScore to find out which DC pubs are reaching the most people. Below are the web traffic numbers for local and political publications based in Washington. Web traffic was mostly up across the board last month -with an average increase of 16.19%. Roll Call experienced a huge 52.9% jump in traffic though (probably due to Hill staffers returning from the holidays), throwing off that average. If they are removed from the equation, traffic increased an average of 11.6%.

Total Unique Visitors (in 100ks) % Change MOM Total Pages Viewed (in millions) % Change MOM
1     WASHINGTONPOST.COM 15,930 7.35 198 15.12
2     POLITICO.COM 3,766 14.1 47 14.63
3     WASHINGTONTIMES.COM 3,441 26.83 15 28.7
4     DAILYCALLER.COM 2,765 -2.2 21 -1.85
5     WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM 1,430 15.42 4 24.36
6     THEHILL.COM 1,380 7.48 7 21.32
7     NATIONALJOURNAL.COM 1,214 4.57 3 13.17
8     ROLLCALL.COM 422 52.9 2 47.92
9     WASHINGTONCITYPAPER.COM 235 19.29 1 20.72

The takeaways: 1) WaPo is still the most dominant online pub surveyed here, with more uniques than all the other pubs combined. 2) The DC had a weak January. Their traffic did not see the same increase as other pubs. 3) TWT and the Washington Examiner both moved up a place in the rankings last month, to 3rd and 5th place, respectively. They displaced The DC and The Hill, both of which moved down one place. All other rankings are the same.


(Image via Shutterstock)

Michelle Obama Works Out (We Think?) on Univision’s ‘Al Punto’

Michelle Obama will appear on Univision’s Sunday morning public affairs show, “Al Punto,” to discuss the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! campaign. In the pre-recorded segment, Obama speaks with Univision’s Satcha Pretto, and then get’s busy with some work out moves. At least, that’s what we think they’re doing????

The interview hasn’t aired yet, so we just have the transcript to go by. You tell us what’s happening…

SP:                   So this is very, very easy.
MO:                 Okay, uh-huh, uh-huh.
SP:                  Just look right here, with our legs spread open.  And this way we are kind of                           working our abdomen area.
MO:                 We’re holding our core tight.
SP:                   Yes, we raise our arms.  And we just…
MO:                 With just one arm.  So I see, yeah, the alternate, that works your oblique.
SP:                   And then you can, right there.
MO:                 Yeah, that’s good.  That’s good, side muscles.
SP:                   And we’re moving.
MO:                 Yeah, that’s good stuff.
SP:                   Thank you so much.  We really appreciate it.
MO:                 Oh, thank you.

Weekend Show Preview, 2.28 – 3.2

SundayShows12Who’s on the public affairs shows this weekend? Glad you asked:


CBS’s “Face the Nation“: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand‎ (D-NY), Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings, Danielle Pletka of AEI, CBS’ Margaret Brennan and David Martin

“Fox News Sunday”: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), George Will, Elise Viebeck of The Hill, Scott Brown, Evan Bayh

NBC’s “Meet the Press“: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Kathleen Parker, Tina Brown, Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Chuck Todd of NBC/MSNBC

ABC’s “This Week“: Ben Affleck, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), CNN’s Van Jones, Rich Lowry of National Review, ABC’s Cokie Roberts, Nate Silver

Univision’s “Al Punto” : President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, Michelle Obama, wife of a Venezuelan political prisoner Lilian Tintori, Roni Kaplan of Israeli Defense Force, actor Eduardo Verastegui

CNN’s “State of the Union“: Rick Santorum, Former WH Deputy Press Sec. Bill Burton, NYT‘s Ross Douthat, Amy Walter of Cook Political Report

More guest listings after the jump…

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Luchtime Lede Check, 2.28.14

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today:

The Washington PostUkraine says Russian troops took over airports in Crimea

The Washington TimesEnemy at the gates: Russia rolls in the tanks, armored personnel carriers

Washington ExaminerKelly Ayotte finds her voice as a prominent conservative

Washington City PaperLo-Fang Goes From D.C. Art Parties to Touring With Lorde

USA TodayNew Clinton documents released

The HillObama readies 2014 pitch

POLITICOClinton Library releases secret files

Roll CallEshoo, Pallone Collect Endorsements in Race for Ranking Member

National JournalThe End of the Pragmatic Governor

Daily Caller: 4 out of 5 authors of invasive FCC media study DONATED TO OBAMA

WTOP: System in place to bring wintry mess

ABC 7: Forecast: Cold and Calm to Mixed Mess

NBC 4: Man ContractsLife-Threatening Infection at Salon

CBS 9: 1-2 inches of snow/sleet Monday morning

Fox 5: Mix of snow and rain possible across DC region Sunday into Monday

Fishbowl Five: HuffPo’s Josh Hersh in Syria

Joshua Hersh, The Huffington Post’s Middle East correspondent based in Beirut, has been in Damascus since Saturday. As one of the few American journos on the ground there, he has a front row seat to a tragic piece of history in the making. FishbowlDC was lucky enough to have Josh answer a few questions for us about what it’s like to report from a war zone and what’s he’s learned about the devastating conflict developing in Syria.

Without further ado, The Fishbowl Five with Josh Hersh:

You previously covered foreign affairs out of HuffPo’s DC bureau, now you’re based in Lebanon. What parts of an international story, especially a war story, do reporters miss by not being on the front lines?

The hardest part to recognize is how inconsequential we often are. That’s not totally true of course — decisions made in Washington and New York play a major role in the course of events all over the world. But even though the people of the Middle East may talk about us a lot over coffee and a cigarette, they don’t really care about us all that much — and they certainly don’t care about the same things we do. There’s a tendency in political discourse in the west — especially on TV, or the halls of Congress — to think what we do and say matters more than it really does. Learning to disentangle our political debates about foreign policy (should Obama intervene in Syria, should there be a total troop draw-down in Afghanistan, etc) from the substantive questions of what’s really going on out in those countries is both instructive and liberating.

It’s also useful to recognize how little people in the world fully comprehend about our politics. Things we see as key distinctions — even something as broad as the fact that the president makes foreign policy, and congress mainly just pontificates about it; or that one party is in control of the White House and the other is not — are often lost on other countries. (And it’s not about intelligence: Next time you read a quote from a political leader in Iran about bombing Israel, for instance, think about whether you really know whether he’s in the part of Iran’s government that actually controls nuclear policy, or just the part that complains about it.)

Much more with Josh Hersh after the jump.

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AMC’s ‘Turn’ Takes over Union Station

If you’re passing through Union Station any time soon, you’ll probably be seeing a whole lot of this guy.

Don’t recognize him? That’s Billy Elliot (aka Jamie Bell), all growed up! He’s the star of the new AMC show “Turn”, about spies during the American Revolution. The show will be taking over Union Station with an ad campaign starting on Monday. And it’s quite an impressive campaign.  In total, they’re running 22 ad units, including kiosks, wallscapes, pillar wraps, floor graphics, banners, doorway posters, and two “sheets” -whatever those are.

The show will also star Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises), JJ Feild (Captain America: The First Avenger), Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart), and Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire).

If you wanna check it out, “Turn” premiers on April 6 at 9:00 PM on AMC.

Ben Pershing Leaves WaPo

In a Facebook post today, Ben Pershing announced that he is leaving the Washington Post.

Hello everyone, I have some personal news to share. After six excellent years I have decided to leave the Washington Post. The decision wasn’t easy but I felt it was time to pursue a job covering national politics elsewhere. I will keep you all posted on my next move once it’s clear. My last day at the Post is Friday.